With a staggering five million travellers visiting the island every year, it’s little secret that Bali is beloved by travellers the world over. But alas, even the biggest crowd-pleasers have their haters and every now and then, you hear someone categorically declare: “Bali is not for me.” What these people might have missed is that there is a Bali for everyone – if you know where to look.
When you want to lounge by the pool and dine at the best restaurants, set your course for Seminyak. When you want to luxuriate on the best beaches and discover the best surf breaks, head to Uluwatu. When you want to be cradled by Balinese culture, lush nature and serenity, you need to book a trip to Ubud. That’s just what our team experienced on our recent stay in Villa Samaki in Ubud.
Arriving in Ubud
The winding drive from our Seminyak office to the rice fields of Ubud takes about 90 minutes. During the drive, it feels like someone has flipped a switch or a portal has been opened to another reality: instead of buzzy beach clubs and on-trend eateries, our car zips past relaxed village life and colourful markets. The pace of life feels markedly slower (save for the buzz surrounding central Ubud), with serene rice fields fringed by local villages where life seems to go on much in the same way it has done for centuries.
Just 10 short minutes from the bustling centre of Ubud, Villa Samaki sits surrounded by postcard-ready rice fields. And the photo ops don’t stop there: the villa is built on a sloping hillside and offers spellbinding views of the jungle ravine. The view is particularly arresting in the early mornings when a gentle mist still lingers above the valley.
The Lay of the Land
Villa Samaki is divided into two buildings, with three bedrooms and ample room to spread out and to allow those relaxing Ubud frequencies to take over. The main house welcomes you into a light-filled living room which is lined with full-wall windows on three sides and resembles an elegant green house.
The fan-cooled living room is flanked by two air-conditioned bedrooms, with a spiral staircase leading up to a loft-style TV room. The second pavilion houses the third bedroom with a private balcony (and a bathtub!) looking over the jungle valley. For a better idea of the layout, take our virtual tour of Villa Samaki.
Services & Dining
From the moment we arrive at Villa Samaki, we are wonderfully looked after by the villa manager Wayan whose warm smile simply radiates that famous Balinese hospitality. Besides giving us the grand tour and making sure everything runs smoothly during our stay, Wayan was in charge of preparing the yummy meals we enjoyed at the villa.
For dinner, we had a rich Indonesian chicken and vegetable curry and crispy spring rolls. This was Indonesian home cooking at its finest, with everything cooked fresh and fragrant in the villa’s very own kitchen. Our breakfast was served in the dining pavilion by the pool, with beautifully arranged tropical fruit (papaya, dragon fruit, mango, banana and mangosteen), fresh juice, toast and coffee fuelling us up for a busy day spent inspecting villas around Ubud.
Exploring Vibrant Ubud
Though the setting is almost ridiculously serene, Villa Samaki is actually located just a 10-minute drive from the vibrant centre of Ubud. Here you can explore the markets, visit the famous Monkey Forest, join a yoga class, treat yourself to a blissful massage… and the list goes on. In recent years, Ubud has gone through a huge transformation and at times, the centre can feel as hectic as the busy streets of southern Bali. To get a feel of the real Bali, we recommend staying outside the most hectic bustle – somewhere like Villa Samaki.
Villa Samaki is the ideal place to experience Ubud and to get a feel of the real Bali: surrounded by nature, away from the noise and still just moments from the action. Reach out to our villa specialists if you have any questions about this villa or would like some expert advice in planning your next Bali holiday.